Tropical North Queensland

Tropical North Queensland fits in more untouched beauty, ancient culture and adventure within its borders than some entire countries manage to do, with the World Heritage-listed double-act of the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest its most prized stars.

World Heritage-listed. Life changing.

Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef is total bucket list material.

  • Snorkel, dive or join a live-aboard and share the water with curious minke whales and sea turtles.
  • Zipline through the ancient beauty of the Daintree Rainforest and meet the local tree kangaroos or elusive cassowary.
  • Tackle world-class mountain bike trails weaving through World Heritage Listed rainforest.
  • Kayak, walk or gallop your way along Cape Tribulation beach – where you may not see another soul.

Thousands of years in the making

If you’re seeking a real connection to the land, you’ll find it in the stories, the smiles and the history of the Indigenous Australians who share their culture with you.

  • Stand in the world’s oldest open-air gallery at an Indigenous rock art site.
  • Learn traditional painting and hunting skills.
  • Experience a spa treatment in a sacred rainforest cultural site.
  • Meander through the rainforest with an Indigenous guide who will provide an enchanting narrative of the rainforest and their special relationship with this unique tropical environment.

Launchpad to (even more) paradise

While Palm Cove, Cairns and Port Douglas are the main ports of call, your holiday here among the palm trees is just the beginning.

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What’s on around Cairns

Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself, cheer for your favourite team, indulge your inner gourmet or move to the beat, there’s an event for you in Cairns. Take a look at the packed events calendar and discover your best time to visit.

Where to stay in Tropical North Queensland

From luxury resorts to cheap and cheerful caravan parks – and everything in between – there’s a huge range of accommodation in Cairns and the surrounds.

Cairns accommodation

There are hundreds of places to stay in Cairns, from backpacker hostels and comfortable motels to five-star resorts with a huge range of facilities. There are campgrounds and caravan sites on the city fringe, or larger self-catering holiday houses and apartments perfect for a family group.

Port Douglas accommodation

Port Douglas has been the region’s resort capital for 30 years: with everything from boutique luxury retreats to huge family-friendly resorts with kids’ clubs and a full schedule of activities. Budget-conscious travellers can check into a hostel or go DIY in one of the many self-contained apartments.

Getting there

Cairns Airport is the gateway to Tropical North Queensland, with 14 international and domestic airlines flying to destinations in Australia, Asia and New Zealand. It’s a 10-minute drive to the centre of Cairns or an hour to Port Douglas.

Getting around

Catch a bus

It’s easy to hop on a bus and travel around central Cairns, with stops close to the Esplanade, Botanic Gardens and shopping areas. You can also catch the bus to nearby beaches, including Yorkeys Knob, Kewarra and Palm Cove.

Drive

Taxis or ride-share services (such as Uber) are available all over the city. If you want to hire a car, the region is easy to navigate and it’s the best way to explore the Daintree.

Take the scenic route

Cairns is at the start of one of Tropical North Queensland’s great scenic routes, the Great Barrier Reef Drive, which runs 140km along the coast to Cape Tribulation.

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